Dee-lightful grand opening for Bristol laundry's new location

Published on Friday, 28 September 2018 20:06
Written by BRIAN M. JOHNSON

@brianjohnsonBP

BRISTOL - City officials celebrated the grand opening of Dee’s Cleaners & Laundromat new location Friday. Owner Dee Dee Mandino has been in business in Bristol for 35 years.

Dee’s opened at 900 Farmington Ave., with hors d’ouvres, balloons and rows of high-powered laundry machines in action. Mandino said the new location is 5,000 square feet - nearly twice the size of the old one in Bristol Plaza.

Mandino credits her “great staff” for her business’s success.

“They take great care of our customers,” she said. “We appreciate our customers and they appreciate us back.”

Mandino said laundry machines at Dee’s can handle anything from a single load to eight at once. Washing typically takes 30 minutes and drying 30 to 40.

Dee’s has a lounge area with couches and a library for customers to use while waiting.

“We do wash, dry, fold and dry cleaning,” said Mandino. “We do it all. We’re more beautiful and more comfortable than most other laundromats.”

Marybeth Kelmel, the laundry’s general manager, was given a bouquet of flowers by Mandino just before the ribbon cutting in gratitude for her support over the years. She has been with Dee’s for 25 years.

“I love the new space and I love watching customers come in and be happy with it,” said Kelmel. “It has been wonderful working with Dee Dee over the years.”

The slogan of Dee’s Cleaners & Laundromat, seen on the shirts of several employees during the opening, is “You’re worth it.” Mandino said the origin of that phrase comes from “divine inspiration.”

“I was praying for guidance about whether or not to go ahead with this expansion and I felt like God said, ‘Build it and let people know that they are worth it to you,’” said Mandino.

Cindy Bombard, president and CEO of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, said the new space is “amazing.”

“It’s not like your grandfather’s laundromat,” she said.

Justin Malley, executive director of the Bristol Development Authority, said Dee’s is a “great example of a business that has grown in Bristol.”

“When businesses grow, they come to that fork in the road where they recognize that there is an opportunity to expand, but it is not an easy decision,” he said. “It is a significant investment, but we feel that Dee’s has made the right choice. We’re glad they chose to remain here in Bristol.”

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu said she was “shocked” to see how nicely Dee’s had turned out after the new building was renovated.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having at City Hall, I always come out for a small business when they are relocating,” said Zoppo-Sassu. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the community. You have made an investment in Bristol and I wish you success. It is important that the city has an economic development policy that supports local businesses.”

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol, General Business on Friday, 28 September 2018 20:06. Updated: Friday, 28 September 2018 20:09.